In honor of Black History Month, the Georgia Tech Scheller College is celebrating our Black student and alumni entrepreneurs. We sat down with undergraduate alumni Connor Ford to find out what he’s been up to and the success he’s had as a young entrepreneur.
Connor Ford is no novice when it comes to being a company founder. We first interviewed him in 2020 when he had already launched his company, Spirit, which helps teachers and employers engage more with their students and employees. He started Spirit while still in high school and continued it after he graduated from Scheller last year as an undergrad.
As Covid lingers, he’s thinking of selling the company while he works as a senior software engineer in a new venture, Infinite Giving, with seven other employees. The company started last year as an investment advisory service for non-profit organizations.
We sat down with Ford to find out more about his experience as an entrepreneur.
What’s your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
I love the ability to create something from nothing. Seeing a problem and then coming up with creative solutions is what I love to do the most. With entrepreneurship, you’re able to live right by your product and really see the change and impact it makes in the world.
What’s the best advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?
Even if an entrepreneurial venture fails, it’s still a win. It sounds cliché, but the things you experience and mainly the people you meet along the way are what truly matter.
Who are some of your mentors?
David Lightburn and Karen Houghton of the Atlanta Tech Village have been two of the greatest aides in my entrepreneurial journey. Their advice, connections, and encouragement have helped lead me to where I am today.
What role did Scheller play in helping you become an entrepreneur and innovator?
When I first started attending Scheller, I already had an engineering background since I first started programming at 13. I wanted to learn more about the business side of tech startups, so Scheller was a huge mindset switch for me. Scheller showed me how to market and sell the products that I was already making, so the school played a huge role in my entrepreneurial development.
What advice do you have for Black entrepreneurs who are just starting their journey?
Lean on your community. The entrepreneurial community (especially in Atlanta) is huge. There are so many resources available to help you learn from other’s success and failures.